‘I Love Liberia Very Much’

first_imgThe deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD), which ravished the nation and brought it to its knees in 2014, has left in its wake stories that will be told for generations. It has even gone down in Liberian and world history as the worst form of the EVD ever to hit mankind. The World Health Organization (WHO) said 10,666 persons contracted the virus in Liberia. Of that number, nearly 5000, precisely 4,806 died from the virus. More than half of that number was cremated, which is totally against the traditional manner in which Liberians handle their dead. However, there are hundreds of others, who, by the grace of God, survived the scourge. One of the survivors, who has credited his survival from the disease to God’s miraculous intervention “in the affairs of man” is Dr. (MD) Kent Brantly.Dr. Brantly was the first American to contract the EVD, while trying to selflessly save his patients, who had come to the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Hospital’s emergency room. Brantly had, by then, been working with ELWA for at least eight months. He had to be flown back to his home country for advanced medical treatment. After spending three weeks at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, he walked out of the hospital an EVD survival. Our Health Correspondent caught up with him last Thursday, on the compound of ELWA hospital. He had come back to extend thanks and appreciation to his Liberian and US colleagues who looked after him when he fell sick before he was flown out of Liberia. Below is the interview:Daily Observer(DO): The Daily Observer is with Dr. Kent Brantly, one of the Americans who contracted the deadly Ebola virus disease in Liberia. He had to be flown back home for treatment and he’s back in Liberia. Welcome to this interview, Sir.Dr. Kent Brantly (KB): Thank you very much.DO: Now tell us why you are back in Liberia.KB: I came back to see my people (chuckled).DO: Your people?KB: I came back to see the people who are my friends and colleagues, co-workers and brothers and sisters for the time that I lived and worked here to tell them thanks; to thank the Government ofLiberia for all that they did to make my treatment possible. To celebrate and rejoice with all of Liberia for May 9 that it has come and gone and that there’s no more Ebola in Liberia right now. It was very important for me and my family to get to come and see people who mean so much to us; who prayed for us and took care of me when I was sick.DO: If I am understanding you right, you have not come back finally?KB: No, we are not back yet finally. We are just here for a short visit. We are trying to discern the future and see what God would have us do in the future, but right now that’s still all up in the air.DO: Why have you changed your mind and don’t want to stay in Liberia?KB: I love Liberia very much. I love the Liberian people. This really was our home for those nine months. There is nothing that makes me not want to come back to Liberia. I was supposed to be here for two years and the two years are almost up but because of my illness and things that have happened since then, life is just very different so my wife and I are trying to determine what next step to take.DO: Life is so different, are you saying that life has become difficult for you now?KB: Not that it’s so difficult. It’s that we expected to be living here for two years. All of a sudden we are back in America. We didn’t expect to be there. Our circumstances are so different than we ever could anticipate. And now it is like having to go back to the drawing board to figure out what we are doing next.DO: Are you proud that you are an Ebola survivor?KB: I don’t think I can use the word proud. I am very thankful to have survived Ebola. DO: For our readers’ sake, could you give us your experiences that you had when you were infected with the virus?KB: It was very difficult…DO: Difficult, what do you mean?KB: I saw in my own body the same symptoms that I had watched so many of my patients go through with the running stomach and the vomiting and the bleeding. All of the patients I had seen patients with all those symptoms had died except for one who survived in the small unit at that time. So not only are those things difficult physically, but as a physician, seeing those same symptoms in my body was so difficult to deal with knowing that I was probably going to die.DO: Did you fear that you were going to die if you had stayed in Liberia?KB: It wasn’t just the matter that I was going to die if I stayed in Liberia or not but I felt that I was going to die because I had Ebola, whether I was here or in America. I was trusting in God through my illness. I was thinking about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, those three Hebrew boys, who were told to bow down to the King’s idol. They refused and the King said ‘I am going to throw you into the fire.’ They said, ‘O King live forever. Our God can save us and He will but even if He doesn’t, we won’t bow to your idol.’ I was saying to God, I know that you can save me but even if you don’t I want to remain faithful. I was trusting in God in all of it.DO: Tell us about the moment on the day you landed back in the United States. I saw a clip of you walking from the ambulance into the hospital. What was going through your mind?KB: To be honest with you at that moment, I had no idea about the significance about what was happening. I was in that ambulance with one paramedic. He’s the one who had helped me walk off the airplane and had put me in the ambulance. He said to me, “Do you think you can walk into the hospital?” And I said I don’t know how far it is. And he said, “It’s not very far. It’s right there, but there are some stairs.” Then I asked, “How many are they, are they more than jet steps?” Because coming down the plane had been so difficult. And he said, “Well, it’s probably more but they are not as big and steep.” He also said, “But if you can’t do it, we’ll wheel you in on the stretcher. But if you can walk, we’ll just go in through this door right here.” And I said ok. I had no idea that there were news helicopters flying above us. I had no idea that the world was watching and I didn’t know that Franklin Graham, the President of Samaritan’s Purse, in a meeting a few days earlier had said that “Wouldn’t it be a testimony to the power of Jesus Christ if Dr. Brantly walks off that airplane!” I had no idea about that but I think that is exactly what it was. So many people have told me that seeing me walk off that ambulance, they praised God and it gave them hope, but at the time I had no idea that it was so significant.DO: Doc, during your explanation like this, what feeling comes to you when you are explaining what happened to you?KB: It’s not hard for me to do that, it reminds me of what God has done in my life and that is my motivation for who I am and what I do. For me to recall my own story reminds me of the power of God and of his calling on my life to love Him and to love my neighbor. Sometimes it brings up emotions but it also reminds me of my God and Who I am supposed to be for Him. DO: What message do you have for those Liberians who turn down Ebola survivors and give them all sorts of names?KB: I think it is really sad for Liberian Ebola survivors to have a stigma against them because they have been through so much. I saw a bumper sticker on a car that said, ‘All Liberians are survivors.’ That’s very true. We need to remember that all Liberians are survivors especially those who had the sickness. They’ve been through even more. We need to not be stigmatizing them. We need to be having even more compassion on them. DO: We understand that there was a 14-year-old boy who had donated blood to you when you were sick. Have you met him since you came back?KB: Not yet but I hope to.DO: But have you been in contact with him since you got well?KB: Yes, I was able to send him a letter and I was able to get word from him that he had received my letter. I will always be thankful to that boy and to his family for their willingness to donate blood for me when I was sick. I thank God for them.DO: Back in the States, how long did you stay in the hospital?KB: Almost three weeks.DO: After you were discharged, there was this image of you and President Barack Obama. Tell us what was happening in that meeting.KB: Since I was released from hospital and recovered, I have had the opportunity to meet the President of the United States to testify before Congress of the United States, both the Senate and House of Representatives about Ebola and in all of those meetings, I tried to emphasize the real urgency in getting the United States and the international community to respond and come to the aid of West Africa. It was a tremendous honor to be able to play that role, to call for help in those ways. It was tremendous to be able to do that. DO: Doc, what do you hope to see the Liberian Government do when it comes to improving our health sector in order to prepare for any future epidemic?KB: I had the great privilege to attend the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland just a month ago with the United States delegation. The focus of the whole meeting was building resilient health care systems. Ebola has highlighted the need for resilient health systems, not just meeting the Millennium Development Goals but having systems that can absorb and respond to problems like this Ebola outbreak. I think my hope for Liberia is not limited to the health sector. For the Ministry of Health to have a resilient health system, you need to have a resilient community. I think it is more complex than simply building better hospitals or clinics. That is a big part of it but it also has to do with education and infrastructure and the rebuilding of communities and the economy. They are all pieces of the big puzzle. So my hope is that in the years to come Liberia will build herself into a resilient community. DO: Personally, how hard has this been for your wife and kids?KB: When I was sick, it was very difficult for my wife in America, 3,000 miles away from me, but she was surrounded by families. She was with her family and my family. That was a tremendous blessing. They really supported her. She received emails and messages from I think 40 different countries, of people saying ‘We are praying for you.’ And so we had a lot of encouragement and support during that very difficult time. My children are very young: they are six and four. They knew at the time that I was sick but they didn’t know that I had Ebola. They knew about Ebola; you know we have been living here and everybody in Liberia knew about Ebola. We didn’t tell them until I had recovered and we told them exactly what it was. We are so incredibly thankful to God to be able to come back to Liberia, this place that we had to leave so suddenly. My wife and children had left and gone to the States for a family wedding, expecting to be gone for about two weeks and then they would come back and now it’s been almost a year. I was not expecting to leave when I did or the way I did and it was all very sudden. So we are so thankful to be able to come and visit this place, to thank the people and to rejoice and celebrate with Liberia. The last portion of this interview will appear in our next Health Column on Tuesday, July 7. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Troubling Signs for TU

first_imgThe academic instabilities that have marred the University of Liberia as a result of continuous demonstrations and protest by students of the premier state run university might surface at the William V. S. Tubman University in the southeastern region if proper care is not taken.This potentially troubling situation looming at TU is emerging as news emanating from Maryland County reveals that there is a plot to obstruct the May 31 commencement convocation of the of the university.This is because the new president of the university, Dr. Edward Lama Wonkeryor, who has been appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to succeed outgoing president Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell, is not a native of Maryland County.Speaking at a press conference in Monrovia on Tuesday, Robert F. Neal, II, Assistant Professor of Finance at the TU’s College of Management and Administration, said the citizens are planning this mass protest as an effort to intimidate President Sirleaf to rescind her decision and heed to their demand.He said some influential leaders of the county are orchestrating a mass demonstration that would obstruct the ensuing May commencement exercises of the university.“This plot is being masterminded by some influential stakeholders of Maryland County, who have vowed to see that the President rescinds the appointment,”The county leaders are however demanding someone from the county or a southeasterner to be appointed.He disclosed that series of mass citizens’ meeting were held on Monday in Pleebo where the participants resolved to carry out the protest on the date of the graduation. “Dr. Wonkeryor was selected through a search committee “Some leaders of the county are inciting young people in the county to stage a mass protest so that the graduation ceremony will not go on. And this I think is very unacceptable because TU is not a property of Maryland neither the Southeast, but the country,” Prof. Neal said, adding that the act that created TU can be liked to that of UL. “These are national institutions supported directly by government. These are not community colleges here.”Reports also revealed that academic activities might come to a standstill if the demand of the citizenry is not adhered to by President Sirleaf. The citizens are contending that the new TU president was handpicked by the outgoing president, Dr. Russell – a statement Neal bitterly differs with.He indicating that these people are misinformed, indicating that the process was free, fair, transparent and comprehensive. He said this is not the case, ratherHe said the argument that only Marylanders should head TU places Marylanders in other parts of the country in a very dangerous situation. “So are we saying that Marylanders across the country who are qualified should only work in Maryland? Our constitution provide employment rights to everyone” “I think what we are giving birth to here is pushing for a kind of xenophobic situation here that tomorrow we will be pushing other residents out of the county.”He said it is regrettable that some of his brothers who are being misinformed will support such action. Mr. Neal, a native of the county-who hails from Pleebo Sodokan district, said that it is unfortunate that citizens of the county would think that the university president should by force come from the county.“TU does not belong to us as Marylanders; we are only privileged to have it in our county,” Neal said. “While should we be excluding other Liberians who are qualified to be appointed? This, I think is discriminatory and we must desist from these things if our country is to progress.” He disclosed Dr. Wonkeryor was selected by the Senate Faculty of the university out of eight candidates who applied after the position was advertized for close to a year.He said if President Sirleaf succumbed to the citizens’ pressure and reverses her decision, it would serve as a bad precedent.The stakeholders have planned to do all they can to ensure that Dr. Wonkeryor does not take up his post.The planned demo is being reportedly masterminded by some officials of the county including lawmakers and local leaders, who want to ensure that the new President of the State-run University comes from the county.When asked to identify some of the officials that are against the appointment of Dr. Wonkeryor, Neal said, “It is no hidden secret. Some of these people are Senator Dan Morais, Representative Bhofal Chambers and, we are also being told, Representative James Binney. These are the lawmakers that are calling for the university to be headed by a Marylander or a Southeasterner,” he said, describing their argument as weak and out of order.“I’m not granting this press conference because I favor Dr. Wonkeryor, but because we the people of Maryland are peaceful and tolerant people and I don’t want the image of the county and its people tarnished,” he said.Dr. Wonkeryor, Provost at Cuttington University, was recently appointed by President Sirleaf after he was selected by TU’s Board of Trustee.He was one of eight applicants vetted by a search committee who comprised of representatives from the Commission on Higher Education, President Sirleaf’s office and others.Dr. Wonkeryor edged out Dr. Emmanuel K. Bailey, who was the other finalist. Some of the candidates that were vetted include Dr. Isaac Adetunde, one of the Deans at TU, Dr. Zechariah Gaye of Grand Bassa County Community College and Dr. Anthony Woart, a Marylander based in the United States.When contacted via telephone, Senator Morais told this reporter that his office should be respected and not anyone just calling and talking about accusation like he is a little boy.The Maryland Senator, who neither confirmed nor denied the allegation, said, “My young man I’m a Senator and I need to be respected,” adding that he is not answerable to the reporter, “so you can go ahead to do whatsoever you want to do. He continued, “Young man, I respect you and respect the paper that you work for, so please treat me with respect too. And if I even asked you now, who is accusing me you will not be able to tell me, but all [you] can say is allegation, allegation.” He then hung up the phone.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Granger has disappointed many Guyanese

first_imgDear Editor,I read in the print media that President Granger was warning about the destructive nature of some ‘restless, provocative’ calls from society. The man has not grasped that the PNC-led coalition got into power only because the allegations of PPP corruption and human rights abuses had become more than Guyanese could take. Knowing the inherently racist nature of the PNC – it being an African-based political party whose constituents were taught fear of Indo-Guyanese by the PNC’s leaders over the years – the Coalition had to be ‘constructed’ to generate mass appeal, to attract Indians also. The hope that the PNC had learnt from history and would change and treat Indo-Guyanese more equitably has been lost with the treatment meted out to sugar workers, among other issues. The fact is: the PNC has lived up to its racist, socially destructive political thinking of promoting African Guyanese while actively retarding Indo-Guyanese economically.This charge also applies to the PPP, and underlies why Guyanese need to form new political parties to push Guyana forward. Guyanese have three years to get prepared to ‘free’ themselves again, or lose another eight years of their future to our racist politics.Granger has disappointed many Guyanese. As has already been observed in the press, Granger has shown himself to be wholly lacking in vision, political perspective, and leadership skills necessary to move his party away from its self-destructive politics, which is itself necessary for forcing political and social change at the national level. The question is: who next should be put as our president? Where are our political leaders?Yours faithfully,Lance Cumberbatchlast_img read more

15 Serie A stars for Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United and other Premier League clubs

first_img Faouzi Ghoulam (Napoli): Anyone need a left-back? – Algerian left-back Ghoulam is likely to be in demand in the summer as a number of top sides are looking to upgrade their options in that position. Atletico Madrid are eyeing his signature, as well as several Premier League clubs. Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina) is being monitored by Chelsea – The 23-year-old is a versatile midfielder, capable of starring in any number of positions for La Viola while retaining his impressive form – and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is monitoring his progress. Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United are also interested in the Italy international’s services. Samir Handanovic (Inter): Liverpool to improve their goalkeeper options with bid? – Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be keen to end their goalkeeper misery this summer and sign a no.1 worthy of holding the shirt for the whole campaign. The 32-year-old penalty saving specialist may also attract attention from Manchester City given their current predicament too. 15 Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli) has been linked with Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal – The fleet-footed dribbler has thrilled Napoli fans this season with some stunning displays in their exciting front-three. He’s hit eight goals and six assists, and attracted interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. 15 15 15 Mauro Icardi (Inter) has been linked with Arsenal – Talented but controversial, Icardi isn’t shy about making headlines. Whether it’s from scoring one of the 16 goals he’s netted this campaign, or for riling Inter’s ultras, he’s value for money. But will Arsenal, or another team, bid enough to take him away from the San Siro? 15 Radja Nainggolan (Roma): an upgrade on Matic and Fabregas? – In recent weeks, Nainggolan has hit a hot streak in front of goal and, following five in his last four Serie A appearances, is on nine for the campaign. Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is an admirer of the tattooed talent and could make a move if he wishes to improve on Nemanja Matic or Cesc Fabregas. 15 15 15 Ivan Perisic (Inter) has been watched by Chelsea and Man United in the past – Ex-Borussia Dortmund midfielder Perisic has spent the last two seasons in Serie A and could be tempted for one shot at the Premier League as he remains near his peak. Chelsea and Manchester United are just two sides who have looked at the player in the past. 15 15 Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan) to replace David De Gea? – The 18-year-old shot-stopper has no end of admirers given his incredible talents at a very young age. Manchester United have reportedly had talks with his agent, Mino Raiola, about a possible move should they lose David De Gea in the summer. The talk in Italy is that the player will wait and see what the new owners’ plans are in Milan before committing his future to the club. Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli) is still interesting Chelsea – Chelsea moved for Senegal superstar Koulibaly last summer, offering around £50m for the rangy 25-year-old defender. They retain an interest as they look to improve on Gary Cahill and with John Terry set to leave the club. Everton and Inter also want the player but whether the Toffees can afford him is another question. 15 15 Andrea Belotti (Torino) has been linked with a big-money move to Arsenal – Belotti is a predatory finisher and if the Italian centre forward leaves Turin in the summer he could go for a lot of money. Arsenal reportedly hold interest in the strong striker, capable of scoring all manner of goals, but it seems Real Madrid are also keeping tabs as they consider replacing Karim Benzema. Either way, a bid of around £80m is being talked about as being the amount which could prise him away from Serie A. Eye-watering. Kostas Manolas (Roma) has been linked with everyone – Greek star Manolas, 25, appears on the verge of leaving the Italian capital this summer with a new contract yet to materialise. His agent claims Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester United are interested in the centre-back’s services. 15 Franck Kessie (Atalanta): Man United to bring impressive midfielder to the Prem? – Intelligent and confident on the ball in the middle of the pitch, Kessie is quickly earning a reputation in Serie A. He’s a keen learner, a manager’s dream and unsurprising is wanted by a host of top clubs including Manchester United and Chelsea. He can be a little reckless, but his driving runs through the centre are a delight. Italian football has its fair share of superstars right now and is also witnessing a new generation of talent coming through various academies across the nation.It’s no surprise then to see Premier League teams setting their sights on a number of Serie A players.Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal are amongst the clubs being linked with moves for these superstars, but just who could be on the way to England?Click the right arrow above to see 15 Serie A stars who could make summer switches to the Premier League… Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus): Pep Guardiola likes him, but Chelsea are also keen – Italian superstar Bonucci signed a new deal in Turin last December but rumours still persist about his future in Serie A. Reportedly unhappy, the centre-back is wanted – unsurprisingly – by Antonio Conte at Chelsea, while Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is a known admirer of the player. 15 15 Miralem Pjanic (Juventus) has been linked with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea – Even though the Bosnian midfielder is a fine playmaker, with the ability to unlock defences with one swing of his leg, he’s found it tough to cement his place in the Juventus first-team. If he is moved on in the summer then several clubs in England, including Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea, will court him. Leandro Paredes (Roma): Two-way battle for playmaker? – Liverpool and Manchester City could also go head-to-head for Argentine midfielder Paredes as they look to strengthen their squads. The playmaker would add plenty of depth as his talent for tackling and then picking a prime pass develops.last_img read more

Liverpool track USA ace, Higuain could face Arsenal, Ramsey pens huge Juve deal

first_img REVEALED Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ LATEST RANKED Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Can Chelsea get a deal for Gonzalo Higuain over the line? Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January CHA-CHING! Ramsey is set to become one of the best-paid Brits in football The Blues are also said to be closing in on a £31million deal for Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Leandro Paredes. (Daily Express)English winger Jadon Sancho will NOT be sold by Borussia Dortmund in the summer, according to director of football Michael Zorc. (Daily Mirror)West Ham have seen two bids for 23-year-old Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek rejected by the Italian club. (Daily Mail)Arsenal are interested in 19-year-old Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao, who plays for SC Braga, and have sent scouts to watch him in action. Juventus are also keen on the Portugal Under-19 international. (Tuttomercato)Leeds United have rejected a bid from Crystal Palacefor 18-year-old English winger Jack Clarke. (Yorkshire Evening Post) The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Latest transfer gossip on talkSPORT.com Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland center_img IN DEMAND targets 3 talkSPORT.com round up all the biggest transfer news and latest football gossip from Friday’s papers and online… Chelsea are trying to complete the signing of Gonzalo Higuain in time for him to make his debut against Arsenal on Saturday. (London Evening Standard)Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey completed his medical with Juventus over the weekend and will join the Italian champions in the summer. (Sky Sports)Ramsey has agreed terms on a four-year contract worth a reported £300,000-a-week, making him one of the best-paid British footballers in the world. (The Times)Manchester United are ready to double Marcus Rashford’s wages to £150,000-per-week to prevent top European clubs from making a move for the 21-year-old this summer. (Daily Mirror)Celtic are continuing to monitor Man United midfielder Scott McTominay, but will only bid for the 22-year-old if another midfielder leaves the Glasgow club. (Daily Record) moving on Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Steven Gerrard has ruled out Rangers signing Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana and former West Ham and Man United midfielder Ravel Morrison. (Daily Record)Liverpool are monitoring Schalke’s 20-year-old USA midfielder Weston McKennie. (The Sun)Tottenham have revived their interest in Brazilian forward Malcom, who is not playing regular games at Barcelona. (The Independent)Spurs have also been linked with former Italy striker Giuseppe Rossi as they hunt for a short-term replacement for injured Harry Kane. The 31-year-old is training with Manchester United he searches for a new club, and is said to be keen to join a team in Europe than move to Major League Soccer. (ESPN)Chelsea are willing to offer 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi a new contract worth a up to £70,000-a-week in a bid to keep Bayern Munich at bay. (Daily Mail) LIVING THE DREAM targets 3 3last_img read more

Donegal GAA Results August 5

first_imgTEAMPLDWONDRAWLOSTFORAGAINSTDIFFPOINTS TEAMPLDWONDRAWLOSTFORAGAINSTDIFFPOINTS An Clochán Liath143011146192-466 CLG Bun Cranncha400443112-690 All County League Division 1 ReserveSat, 04 Aug, Gaoth Dobhair 3-10 Cloughaneely 1-8 CLG Na Cealla Beaga149142271537419 Ardara118031701442616 Sean Mac Cumhaill129301731215221 TEAMPLDWONDRAWLOSTFORAGAINSTDIFFPOINTS Naomh Columba10307124175-516 Milford14608180217-3712 Cloich Cheann Fhaola15447173199-2612 Milford15726228226216 Red Hughs8701144776714 CLG Na Cealla Beaga9306107132-256 All County League Division 2 Naomh Ádhamhnáin/St Eunan’s1510232131724122 Cloich Cheann Fhaola15618197231-3413 Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon133010144266-1226 All County League Division 3 Reserve All County League Division 3Sat, 04 Aug, Naomh Bríd 1-9 Red Hughs 0-8Naomh Ultan 1-8 Moville 0-7 Na Rossa13001394244-1500 Gaoth Dobhair14626192186614 Naomh Ultan9117100151-513 Gaeil Fhánada842285721310 Burt431011452627 CLG An Tearmainn11119101153-523 Naomh Mhuire Conmhaigh15528152184-3212 CLG Chill Chartha148061971692816 CLG Bun Cranncha149142031634019 Naomh Ádhamhnáin/St Eunan’s14140027511416128 Naomh Conaill158342382013719 Four Masters13418150201-519 CLG An Tearmainn148062071733416 CLG Naomh Náille148061821711116 CLG Naomh Náille115241351211412 TEAMPLDWONDRAWLOSTFORAGAINSTDIFFPOINTS All County League Division 2Sat, 04 Aug, Ardara 2-14 Four Masters 2-8St Naul’s GAA Club 2-16 Naomh Muire Lower Rosses 0-7 Gleann Fhinne12417143168-259 Sean Mac Cumhaill1410042201912920 An Clochán Liath151014145277-1322 Glenswilly14536184197-1313center_img All County League Division 1 Reserve Gleann Fhinne105411671175014 St Michael’s15726212215-316 Four Masters9621125962914 CLG Chill Chartha158162191803917 Glenswilly14329167195-288 TEAMPLDWONDRAWLOSTFORAGAINSTDIFFPOINTS Setanta431010671357 Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure Senior Hurling C’ship Group StageSat, 04 Aug, St Eunan’s 3-14 Buncrana 2-14Burt 5-22 Sean Mac Cumhaill 1-10 All County League Division 1Thu, 02 Aug, Glenswilly 4-10 Kilcar 2-12Fri, 03 Aug, Milford 2-15 Naomh Conaill 1-11Sat, 04 Aug, Gaoth Dobhair 3-15 Cloughaneely 0-4Mon, 06 Aug, St Eunan’s 1-16 Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon 1-9 Senior Hurling C’ship Group Stage Naomh Bríd1410131861266021 All County League Division 3 Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon15249191227-368 Realt na Mara G.F.C139132091654419 Ardara158072501995116 Moville152112180256-765 TEAMPLDWONDRAWLOSTFORAGAINSTDIFFPOINTS Naomh Ultan1410041981702820 Naomh Columba12615154158-413 Naomh Muire, Íochtar Na Rosann130211122219-972 Málainn/Malin14626204196814 Naomh Bríd1010980127-472 TEAMPLDWONDRAWLOSTFORAGAINSTDIFFPOINTS Naomh Conaill1410042431746920 Naomh Ádhamhnáin/St Eunan’s4202807644 All County League Division 2 ReserveSat, 04 Aug, St Naul’s GAA Club 2-12 Naomh Muire Lower Rosses 0-7 Naomh Muire, Íochtar Na Rosann12309101154-536 Naomh Mhuire Conmhaigh109011501074318 St Michael’s14815164161317 Realt na Mara G.F.C12309171186-156 All County League Division 3 ReserveSat, 04 Aug, Red Hughs 6-18 Naomh Bríd 1-12 Sean Mac Cumhaill41036799-322 All County League Division 1 Red Hughs137241611412016 Gaeil Fhánada117041551352014 CLG Bun Cranncha10514145145011 Burt135081591431610 Gaoth Dobhair1411121991089123 All County League Division 2 Reservelast_img read more

Learning from Twitter’s Decline

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Reports this week suggest that the number of tweets per day created by Twitter’s users has fallen by more than half since a peak in August 2014, according to a sampling of data from Twitter’s API. It’s hardly surprising, as both the media and tech sector have been charting and predicting its downward trajectory for several years. This is in addition to hits on the stock exchange in 2014, a change of CEO in 2015, the debacle regarding the identity 2013 of Boston Marathon bomber, and persistent reports of bullying via twitter from the general public, politicians and celebrities. Whatever statistical or financial report you choose to read, it’s a sobering lesson for those creating new technology. An analysis of Twitter so far can provide something of a cautionary tales for those working in new media, wearables, IoT or any of the new technologies that are currently being developed. It demonstrates the importance of nurturing not only your product but also the ecosystem that surrounds it. Your (Perceived) Changes May Work To Your AdvantageThe #RIPTwitter debacle may be a blessing in disguise. The hashtag hit the social media on Saturday after an article from Buzzfeed stating that Twitter would soon prioritise the Tweets that appear on a user’s timeline based on algorithms. Essentially, under the reported new system, you’d see Tweets that Twitter thinks you’d like, rather than in the current reverse-chronological order similar to how posts on Facebook timelines are organizedIt’s the most attention Twitter has received from its users in a while and shows the need to keep communicating with your audience or customers. That Jack Dorsey chose to correct the misinformation with some immediacy, on a weekend to boot, also wins him extra brownie points. Take Ownership Of Your Complaints But Also, Look At The FlipsideI’ve heard Twitter called a ‘shouting gallery’ of noisy spambots, celebrity gossip, and trolls, devoid of real interactive communication. People talk about feeling lonely on Twitter. However the flipside of this noise and attention is apparent in the success of live twitter feeds for political debates, sporting events like The SuperBowl, and the sheer pleasure in following an amusing hashtag discussion.Curated experiences like hashtag following have more resonance than an everyday newsfeed where it’s easy to lose the flow. Twitter could optimise on this strength through providing a range of options for a curated experience. These could include easier mechanisms to view and edit those followed, a “more like this” API, the option for breakout topics in a separate tab and a ‘read later’ API for news links, to name but a few ideas. People are still talking in Twitter and sharing thoughts and opinions but in a different way. In facilitating these kinds of opportunities, Twitter would be building on some of their strengths while staying true to the core goals of facilitating succinct communication amongst account holders. Don’t Just Let Them Talk, Make Sure You ListenAs a platform, Twitter has controlled its users from the get go, from the length of tweets to the number of accounts that can be followed, to the facilitation of abbreviations and hashtags. It has not only shaped how people use the platform but also their expectations of it.Where it has failed is a lack of listening – listening to account holders and what they want and most importantly, engaging with not only people with inactive accounts but those who have closed their accounts. Why aren’t they asking people to rate their experiences and offer recommendations? Why are they failing to respond to opportunities to get meaningful data? Every person that registers an account but uses it only rarely or deletes their account is a lost opportunity if there is no engagement. Consider Abuse Over The Entire Lifecycle Of Your ProductTwitter has been long accused of failing to take abuse on the social network seriously. Even then CEO Dick Costolo recognized the epidemic and admitted: “We suck at dealing with abuse.” Twitter created a partnership with the nonprofit Women, Action & the Media (WAM!) in 2014 to address issues of online bullying and harassment. Twitter granted WAM! an authorized harassment reporter status. From November 6 to November 26, 2014, they took in reports of Twitter-based harassment, assessed them, and escalated reports as necessary to Twitter for special attention. The subsequent report is interesting if unpleasant reading. It involved 811 incoming reports of harassment and discussed a range of issues such as different kinds of harassment (including doxxing), problems with duplicate reports and those sent by a bot (over 250), the problems of evidence for both reporting to Twitter and law enforcement, and the impact of reviews cases upon staff. Not surprisingly members of the WAM! staff and board themselves received harassment on Twitter as a result of the reporting project including hate speech, distribution of photoshopped images and false information, and rape and death threats. Since the report, Twitter has made a number of changes the process of abuse reporting, from simplified forms to making it easier to report threats to law enforcement. Twitter has also cracked down on doxxing and revenge porn with changes to its usage policies in March 2015. People who get caught posting other people’s identifying information, intimate videos and photos without their consent will have their accounts locked until they delete the offending posts. And repeat offenders will get suspended from Twitter. For the revenge porn, Twitter will take stuff down without a DMCA request as long as the person complaining verifies that it’s them in the photos or videos.It is imperative that anyone wanting to create new technology in the long term, whether it be IoT, a new form of internet communication, subcutaneous wearables or blockchain structures is able to anticipate and to some extent predict what could go wrong over with a product over a lifetime.Focus On The Capabilities Of Your Product To Do GoodPerhaps Twitter’s (and by virtue Periscope’s) greatest strength is its ability to connect people in situations that benefit from leaderless self-organising and direct action but rely on public communication like the Arab Spring or the #blacklivesmatter campaign. Twitter’s ability to create a platform for civilians on the ground reporting cannot be underestimated. This is further strengthened by its partnership with Periscope, whose founders came up with the idea while traveling abroad in 2013. Kayvon Beykpour was in Istanbul when protests broke out in Taksim Square. He wanted to see what was happening there, so he turned to Twitter. While he could read about the protests, he could not see them. These kinds of benefits are tangible and effective and can reinforce the benefits of Twitter at a time when it is accused of lacking an engaged audience. Likewise, most new technology has great capacity for social action through its functionality or the scope of its audience or consumer basis. It will be interesting to see what Twitter comes up with next. There’s still a need for it in a space of crowded social media if the member-led hash tweet campaigns are anything to go by. People don’t react to change unless they are invested in the outcome and people have shown that they want Twitter to stay- for the time being.  The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditcenter_img Related Posts Tags:#hashtag#Periscope#twitter Cate Lawrencelast_img read more

Greening the Urban Rooftop

first_imgThe rooftop at 10 G Street is about to get a lot greener—3,000 square feet to be exact. In real estate-scarce cities, commercial property owners nationwide are turning roof space into green space.On this project, WRI and the property owner, the American Psychological Association, are soon to break ground (or roof) on its 8-story office building near Union Station in Washington, DC. Green roofs are a great idea in general, but what makes this one especially cool is the labyrinth at the center with its 7-circle design, like those found in some ground-level parks.Architectural Drawing of the Green Roof:  Source: American Psychological AssociationGreen roofs are advantageous not just for their aesthetics and the improvement they make to the urban landscape. Commercial property is a major energy consumer, and in the United States is responsible for 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. And considering the amount of time most people spend at work, environmental improvements to the workplace equate to better human health and well-being.Before the Green Roof A rooftop garden will replace parts of this roof.Here are a few green roof benefits:Green roofs are, in effect, a second roof. They reduce wear on the roof structure, extending its life by as much as 50 years. They improve insulation and reduce energy costs year-around. One study estimated that green roofs on all Chicago city buildings would save 720 megawatts annually (equal to several coal plants or one small nuclear plant) for a cost savings of $100 million. Green roofs also provide accoustic insulation, and can reduce noise pollution by as much as 50 decibels. Green roofs produce oxygen, absorb air pollutants and greenhouse gases, and reduce water loss due to run-off. 1,000 square feet of green roof provides enough oxygen for 110 people, and removes 41 pounds of airborne particles a year. Urban rooftops can reach 175 degrees fahrenheit in the summer. Green roofs can lower ambient air temperatures and reduce the heat island effect. Square footage is a valuable urban commodity. Green roofs reclaim space for personal use and relaxation, and provide habitats for wildlife. Green roofs can counteract “big box development” to make retail and commercial properties more valuable and attractive. In 2006, Wal-mart built a 67,000 square foot, self-irrigating green roof on top of one of its Chicago stores.Green roofs are but one option that businesses are employing to green the workplace and urban environments. APA recently announced a 2½-year agreement with Pepco Energy Services to provide 100 percent green power to the building. And last year, WRI completed a LEED-CI Gold Certified 7,000 square foot buildout of its green office space to increase energy efficiency, reduce materials waste and improve its work environment.The 10 G Street project is a partnership between APA and WRI, with funding and support from the TKF Foundation and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Contact me, Nancy Kiefer, for more information or to schedule a tour of WRI’s office space.Related LinksAPA Online: Going Green (from the CEO)Pepco Pepco Energy Services Provides Green Energy to the American Psychological Association’s Headquarters in Washington, DCBuilding Green Office Space (LEED Certification)American Psychological Association Greens Two D.C. BuildingsWRI’s Green Office Spacelast_img read more

Transport at the Forefront of COP19 Climate Change Agenda

first_img“It is not possible to effectively address climate change without substantive greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions by the transport sector. Climate action on transport is directly linked to sustainable development.”This statement is the founding principle of the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), a multi-stakeholder partnership that promotes the integration of sustainable transport in global policies on sustainable development and climate change. Last month, SLoCaT and the Bridging the Gap Initiative (BtG) led a partnership of 15 additional co-organizers to host Transport Day 2013 at the nineteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). EMBARQ, the sustainable urban transport and planning program of the World Resources Institute, was one of the 15 co-organizers of the event.This year’s COP was held in Warsaw, Poland, from November 11 to November 22, 2013. Transport Day was November 17, marking the first time an entire day at COP has been dedicated to transport, and underscoring the importance of engaging the transport sector in addressing climate change.Transport’s Place At The Table In Climate Change DialogueTransport Day 2013 brought together more than 200 international transport and climate change experts, as well as representatives from multilateral development banks and civil society organizations. At the event, more than 50 speakers and panelists discussed five key themes:Mitigation potential of the transport sectorPolicymaking on sustainable low carbon transport in the developing worldEnsuring effective transport Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs)Integrating adaptation in transport policiesFinancing sustainable low carbon transportWhile each theme sparked its own conversation and takeaways, the greatest significance of Transport Day 2013 is the opportunity it represents to fully integrate transport into the new global climate change agreement set to be adopted at COP 21 in 2015, which will take place in Paris, France. In order to achieve that goal, it’s critical to ensure that countries address the transport sector when developing the individual offers that will shape the Paris agreement. Focus on the transport sector is important for both emerging and developed economies, where emissions from transport make up a larger percentage of total GHG emissions. In Mexico, for instance, emissions from transport account for 22 percent of overall GHG emissions, making the transport sector one of the largest emitters in the country.How The Transport Sector Can Mitigate Climate ChangeEnsuring Effective Transport NAMAsTransport Day’s session on transport NAMAs included the release of the Transport NAMA database, and focused on the current status of proposals and projects, which have been recognized as a key mechanism to further sustainable transport projects in developing countries. Currently, 21% of proposals in the Ecofys NAMA database are in the transport sector, designed within the Avoid-Shift-Improve framework. Moving forward, enabling a reliable Monitor-Report-Verify (MRV) process to measure their impacts will be crucial in scaling up the on-the-ground impact of NAMAs. The NAMA Facility, a fund established at the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, will be a vital resource for financing transport related NAMAs.Engaging in AdaptationAn entire session at Transport Day 2013 was dedicated to the need for financing climate change adaption measures, not just mitigation. Key adaptation measures include maintaining existing infrastructure and integrating efforts across sectors – including the transport, energy, environment, and finance sectors. The Adaptation Fund, which finances projects and programs that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change, received commitments for US$72.5 million in funding from seven European governments at COP 19. The Fund’s resources now total over US$157 million for adaptation projects.Financing Mitigation and AdaptationIf low-carbon sustainable transport goes unfunded, the costs of inaction are grave. Air pollution, public health threats, and traffic congestion are all significant risks of continuing on the path of business as usual. Funding adaptation through both public and private means is essential to protecting the most vulnerable communities. The Green Climate Fund – established within the framework of the UNFCCC – works to finance mitigation and adaptation activities through public and private facilities, though there remains a huge opportunity to build on this foundation and further expand both mitigation and adaptation efforts. At COP 19, the Green Climate Fund rallied support and announced its move towards full operations.From left to right: Donald Cooper, UNFCCC Secretariat; Hilda Martínez, EMBARQ Mexico’s Air Quality and Climate Change Manager; Holger Dalkmann, EMBARQ’s Director; Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary; Michael Replogle, Institute for Transportation & Development (ITDP); and Tayla Fernandez Enrique Romano, SLoCaT representative. Representatives of Transport Day 2013’s organizers presented Figueres with the event’s outcome document, the “Warsaw Statement,” on November 20, 2013. Photo by Michael Oko/World Resources Institute.Warsaw Statement on Low Carbon Transport and Sustainable DevelopmentThe greatest achievement of Transport Day 2013 was the adoption of the Warsaw Statement on Low Carbon Transport and Sustainable Development, which contains recommendations on how to strengthen the integration of sustainable, low-carbon transport into the UNFCCC process and its negotiated outcomes. The statement has been endorsed by more than 110 organizations and 400 individuals, and was delivered to the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres on November 20. It outlines the role that transport could and should play in post-2015 international climate and development and will play a pivotal role in solidifying sustainable transport as a mandatory measure to combat climate change.The Way ForwardTo continue the momentum of COP 19 and Transport Day 2013, Transport Day 2014 has already been scheduled to take place next year in Lima, Peru, during the COP 20 negotiations. COP 20 will play an important role in prepping countries to make a robust pledge to tackle climate change and adopt a new international agreement in Paris in 2015. In the next two years leading up to COP 21, it’s up to the transport community to prove that it is a vital part of the climate change solution.LEARN MORE: Read a related blog post on COP 19’s outcomes, COP 19 Made Small Steps Forward, but We Need Bolder LeapsCamille Cauchois and Kyle Mackie also contributed to this article. It originally appeared on TheCityFix.com.last_img read more